- Cosmetic Procedures and the Brow Lift Center
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- What is a brow lift?
- Does my health insurance cover this procedure?
- What can I expect during a brow lift consultation?
- How do I prepare for brow lift surgery?
- What will I need at home after brow lift surgery?
- What can I expect the day of surgery?
- What should I expect after brow lift surgery?
- When should I call my doctor after a brow lift?
Are you frustrated with sagging skin in your forehead region? Then the forehead lift and eyebrow lift, also called "the brow lift," may be just what you're seeking. This popular procedure is used to help reverse the aging process (think deep wrinkles and creases across your forehead caused by years of facial expressions and environmental effects). But don't be fooled. Younger people are also candidates if they have inherited traits, such as lowbrow or other problems.
What Is a Brow Lift?
A forehead lift can be performed using one of three common procedures: an endobrow lift performed through an endoscope, an open brow lift, or a temporal lift. The procedure cosmetically corrects sagging in the forehead skin, upper eyelids, and eyebrows.
Your surgeon will maneuver tissues and remove segments of muscles and skin that are responsible for wrinkles or deep frown. Sometimes, this procedure is performed in conjunction with a face-lift or reshaping of the nose.
Think about it. You want your facial features to have the same contoured appearance. If you only have the work done on your forehead, other areas will appear more aged. If you are interested in learning about other procedures, you can discuss the options with your surgeon.
There are two methods to lift your forehead and eyebrow areas:
- the classic lift
- endoscopic lift.
Here's how the endoscopic lift differs: Instead of making one continuous incision, your surgeon will make a few shorter incisions in the scalp. He or she will insert a scope (small camera on the end of a thin tube) into one of the incisions in order to view the tissues and muscles from a screen. At the same time, he or she will use another device inserted in another incision to make the necessary alterations.
In this procedure, small anchors are used to secure the offending tissue once it's altered appropriately. Those anchors are tiny, but mighty. They'll keep your tissue under control for years. Because the incisions are smaller, this procedure is less invasive. You will experience minimal scarring and shortened recovery time.
Quick GuidePlastic Surgery: Before and After Photos of Cosmetic Surgeries
Does My Health Insurance Cover This Procedure?
A forehead lift is a cosmetic procedure and is not covered under health insurance plans unless you have severe visual field loss. It's important that you receive price quotes in writing from your surgeon's office and that you understand charges for any follow-up care.
What can I expect during a brow lift consultation?
You've selected the surgeon, now it's time for the consultation about your brow lift.
You should prepare by having your medical history handy (for instance, have you previously undergone facial surgeries to correct aging or wrinkling?), current medical conditions and any medications. This will all affect how your surgeon analyzes your case and determines how to approach your surgery. Also, you should know exactly what you want to correct about the current appearance of your forehead.
Your surgeon will evaluate your entire forehead region, including your upper eyelids, paying attention to the muscles. The surgeon may have you make a variety of facial expressions so he or she can evaluate exactly how to help you.
How do I prepare for brow lift surgery?
There might be some lifestyle adjustments you have to make before you can undergo a brow lift. For instance, do you smoke? Then you may have to quit, or at least curtail your habit for a few days. But this is up to your surgeon, and he or she will provide you with specific pre-operative instructions.
You may also have to avoid alcohol and certain medications. If you regularly take an aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drug, your surgeon will ask you to stop taking these for a certain period of time before the surgery. These drugs can cause increased bleeding and should be avoided.
Also, be advised: if your hair is long and will get in the way of the procedure, you may have to trim it. If your hair is shorter, you may seek to grow it out to cover any scars. You will be able to discuss all this with your surgeon and how you should prepare.
What will I need at home after brow lift surgery
You should make sure your house is stocked with plenty of gauze and clean towels once you've arrived home after your brow lift. Also make sure to have the following on hand:
- Plenty of ice
- Container to use for ice or cold water
- Plastic freezer bags to hold the ice OR you can also keep bags of frozen corn or peas on hand
- Pillows (you'll have to keep your head elevated for a period of time)
- Ointment for the incision area (which your surgeon can recommend or prescribe, if necessary)
What can I expect the day of surgery?
Typically, you can undergo a brow lift at your surgeon's office, in a hospital, or outpatient surgery facility. Your surgery should be completed within two hours and you will not normally need to stay overnight. However, you will need to bring someone along who can drive you home and, if you live alone, stay with you the first night or two.
Your surgeon will use local anesthesia. But, if it makes you more comfortable, you can request an anesthesia that will put you to sleep during the operation (general anesthesia). Once the operation has ended, your surgeon will close the incision areas with stitches or staples. Then he or she will cleanse the area to remove blood and cover the wound area with a soft, sterilized bandage that will surround your face.
It's very important to follow the instructions on how to care for the bandage and how frequently you should change it.
What should I expect after brow lift surgery?
Your recovery is going to vary depending upon which procedure you had: a classic or endoscopic brow lift.
In either case, you will have stitches or staples in the incisions which will need to be removed in about a week. If you have temporary fixation screws, these will be removed in about two weeks (these fixtures are installed beneath the hairline to hold the elevated brow in place).
You will probably experience swelling and bruising, which can also affect other parts of your face, including your cheeks and eyes. The swelling should be gone in about a week. For at least two days following surgery, you should keep your head elevated to help alleviate the swelling, and you can gently apply ice packs to the affected region.
For those who undergo surgery via the classic method, you will most likely experience more pain during your recovery. Your doctor will give you a prescription for a painkiller. You may also experience more itching, which can last for a few months.
Those patients who undergo surgery via endoscopic method will also receive a prescription painkiller. Itching can also be a side effect for those who have undergone the endoscopic method, though it is much more mild than with the classic method.
In either case, you may also experience numbness or tingling. This will subside over time. Those who underwent the classic procedure may experience more numbing.
Most patients can return to work or school within 10 days, some sooner, depending on which procedure you underwent and your own personal rate of recovery.
You should be sure to avoid heavy lifting, vigorous exercise or other activity for the first few weeks after surgery.
Though the side effects are minimal, possible complications can include infection, scars, complications with eyebrow movement or the loss of sensation around the incision site. It's important to remember that these occur rarely.
When should I call my doctor after a brow lift?
You experience any of the following:
- fever that climbs over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- excessive swelling or bleeding.
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Michael J. Wheatley, MD, on September 19, 2009
Quick GuidePlastic Surgery: Before and After Photos of Cosmetic Surgeries
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Aches, Pain, FeverAlthough a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Black EyeThe most common cause of a black eye is due to an injury to the face or head. Most black eye injuries are minor and heal on their own, however, some may lead to significant injury. In addition to trauma to the face, cosmetic surgery can cause a black eye(s) as a side effect. People should be aware of the situations in which medical care should be sought immediately for a black eye.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure in which drooping of the lower and/or upper eyelids is reduced by removing excess skin, muscle, and fat. Complications of the procedure include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, an inability to fully close the eyes, eyelid skin that folds in or out abnormally, abnormal skin discoloration of the eyelids, and a pulled-down lower lid lash line or a possible loss of vision.
bupivicaine-injectionBupivacaine (Marcaine; Sensorcaine) is a local or regional anesthetic used for surgical, dental, diagnostic, or obstetrical procedures. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.
Face LiftA face lift is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess facial skin to promote a more youthful appearance. Potential complications of the procedure include
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- loss of muscle function or sensation.
Facial Nerve Problems
Bell's palsy is one type of facial nerve paralysis. The 7th cranial nerve controls the muscles of the face, and although scientists do not know the exact cause of Bell's palsy, they think it may be due to nerve damage from an infection, for example, the flu, common cold viruses, and more serious infections like meningitis. The symptoms of Bell's palsy vary from person to person, but can include:
- Mild weakness to total paralysis
- Dry eye
- Dry mouth
- Eyelid drooping
- Mouth drooping
- Dry mouth
- Changes in taste
- Excessive tearing in one eye
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "NINDS Bell's Palsy Information Page." Updated: Apr 16, 2015.
PubMed Health. "Bell's Palsy."
NIH. National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. "Bell's Palsy."
Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery)Cosmetic surgery and procedures include interventions to improve one's appearance and fight the effects of aging on the outside. Breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, and liposuction are examples of cosmetic surgical procedures. Botox injections, laser hair removal, and laser skin resurfacing are examples of cosmetic nonsurgical procedures.
ScarsScar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury. The depth and size of the wound incision and the location of the injury impact the scar's characteristics, but your age, heredity and even sex or ethnicity will affect how your skin reacts.
StitchesStitches or sutures are used to close skin wounds. After the wound is examined and cleaned, the health-care provider assesses the wound to decide how to repair the wound. Dissolvable stitches may be used if deep sutures are necessary. Nylon and polypropylene are the main choices of suture material. The length of time stitches must remain in place depends upon the location of the wound and how much stress is placed on the wound.
Surgery QuestionsSurgery is the branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or injury. Prior to surgery you might consider asking your surgeon questions about the operation (procedure).
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Wrinkles PictureWrinkles are a by-product of the aging process. See a picture of Wrinkles and learn more about the health topic.